Mesquite Smoked Tomato Brushetta
- serves 6
6 Ripe tomatoes washed quartered and seeded
1 sprig of fresh thyme
2 clove garlic thinly sliced
2 shallots thinly sliced
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup fresh basil leaves torn
Splash of balsamic vinegar (not necessary if tomatoes are perfect and ripe)
1 baguette sliced into ¼ inch rounds
3 cup Mesquite woodchips
Water for soaking
1. Allow 2 cups (500ml) of mesquite woodchips to soak in cool water for 1 hour. Set aside remaining dry woodchips for later. Seed the tomatoes by cutting them in quarters and using a small pairing knife to remove the seeds. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil; sprinkle them evenly with the thyme, garlic slices, shallots, salt and pepper.
2. Strain woodchips. To prepare the smoke pouch, mix 1 cup (250ml) of the dry woodchips and 2 cups (500ml) of the drained wet chips. Place on a sheet of foil and wrap up the package. Make sure it’s no bigger than your barbeque burner. Using a fork pierce the pouch all over to allow the smoke to escape. Prepare barbeque for indirect smoking leaving one burner on and the other burners off. Place smoke pouch on the burner that is turned on, close the lid and wait for smoke. Place a grill screen on the side that is turned off. Reduce heat if necessary, you are looking for 220°F (104°C). Once smoke is achieved, quickly place the tomatoes on the grill screen (skin side down) over indirect heat and close the lid so the smoke doesn’t escape.
3. Smoke for 15 – 20 minutes with lid closed or until tomatoes are very slightly dried. The idea is to smoke them without over cooking, and losing texture. Remove tomatoes from grill. Once tomatoes are cool enough, slip the skins off of the tomatoes using your hands. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add the chopped basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are evenly combined. Chill the mixture. Preheat barbeque to medium high heat (375°F) (190°C). Oil the grill to prevent sticking. Place bread slices on the barbeque and grill until golden brown (about 1 minute per side). Remove bread from grill and rub with garlic cloves that have been cut in half. Spoon the smoked tomato filling over the crispy bread slices and serve.